BACKGROUND/AIMS: Recent progress in both diagnostic and therapeutic technique of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) appears to improve the prognosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognosis of HCC in relation to treament methods. METHODS: A new staging scheme (PI stage) based on the prognostic index was used. A total of 487 patients with HCC were divided into 4 treatmen groups; no treatment (No Tx), transarterial oily chemoembolization (TOCE), combination of percuta neous ethanol injection and TOCE (CEI), partial hepatectomy (OP). RESULTS: In PI stage I, the groups of CEI and OP showed similar survival rates, and both prolonged survival compared with the group of TOCE. In PI stage II, CEI gave a better survival than TOCE, whereas OP could not improve survival rate, compared with TOCE. In PI stage III, only TOCE was done in some patients and i prolonged survival, particularly when serum bilirubin was 1.5 mg/dL or less. CONCLUSIONS: In the P stage I, operation is recommended firstly, but if operation is impossible, CEI could be selected. CE may be chosen as the first treatment choice in PI stage II. In PI stage III, TOCE may be considered for patients whose serum bilirubin is 1.5 mg/dL or less.